Civil society urges President`s team not to block cleansing of the judicial ranks

This week the Parliament of Ukraine has the last chance to renew 10 % of the judiciary by rejecting termless appointment of 778 judges. However, consideration of these judges` election appears to be blocked by the Petro Poroshenko Block party faction.

We welcome efforts by the presidential team in launching the long-awaited judiciary reform, as well as the President`s public promise to prevent the appointment of dishonest judges.

Still, the issue of termless appointment of over 700 Ukrainian judges has been ignored for two years. Most of these judges have been appointed by Viktor Yanukovych.

After expiration of their 5-year term of office, these judges lost their powers to examine cases, but they are keeping the status of judge and receiving salaries until present day. According to the Law of Ukraine «On the Judicial System and the Status of Judge», the Verkhovna Rada has to take a decision on their appointment.

Ukrainian civil society puts no trust in these judges, appointed by Yanukovych. They have received their judicial mantles in a non-transparent way, have not passed the fair contests and represent previous corrupted judicial system, which needs cleansing.

Civic movement CHESNO repeatedly urged MPs to dismiss those 700 Yanykovych`s judges as soon as possible, thus giving a chance for honest candidates to pass fair contests and replace previous judges.

The civil society achieved inclusion of this issue on the Parliament`s agenda of the past week, but the Verkhovna Rada have not considered by-laws on appointment of 5-year judges, focusing on dismissing of the voluntarily retired judges instead.

Consideration of the matter in Ukraine`s Parliament is blocked by its Committee on Legal Policy and Justice, headed by a representative of the presidential faction.

At the same time, the parliamentary factions of «Narodnyy Front», «Samopomich» Union and the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko declared their support and readiness to dismiss the Yanukovych`s judges.

In light of the above, Ukrainian civil society organisations urge the President and Members of Parliament from the Petro Poroshenko Block not to sabotage cleansing of the judiciary before the start of judicial reform and decisively re-staff the judicial ranks.

 

Signed by:

Civic Movement СHESNO

Transparency International Ukraine

Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation

Ukrainian Centre for European Policy

Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation

Centre for Political Studies and Analytics «Eidos»

Мyhailo Zhernakov, Reanimation Package of Reforms board member

Mykola Khavronyuk, Centre for Political and Legal Reforms

Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law

Civil society organisation «Centre UA»

Civil society organisation «European Movement of Ukraine»

Civil society organisation «Centre of Local Self-Governance»

Civil society organisation «Crimean Diaspora»

Civil society organisation «Association of Political Sciences»

Civil society organisation «Rodyna»

Civil society organisation «Reforms UA»